US’ double standards, hypocrisy undermine prospects for lasting peace in Gaza
Published: Mar 15, 2024 04:08 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

While the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate as regional conflicts drag on, the US military dropped food and water on Tuesday into the region. On the same day, it was announced by the Pentagon that the US army ships were also moving to the Eastern Mediterranean to build a pier to bring aid to civilians in Gaza. However, the US government is pushing itself into a quagmire, demonstrating a high level of double standards and hypocrisy.

On the one hand, the US has become the main lifeline behind the Israeli military, providing a tremendous amount of equipment, ammunition, weapons of all kinds, military intelligence, as well as money. On the other hand, the US has taken some actions seemingly aimed at providing more humanitarian support to the Palestinian people, alleviating their agonies, pain and suffering. 

However, even before the ink dries on the US' pronouncement, the US military has stated that constructing the pier may require up to 60 days. This means that there would be a waiting period of 60 days before the pier could even begin to operate and receive supplies from overseas.

Currently, a war is raging in Gaza, and innocent lives are being lost. How can we afford to wait another 60 days or so? The US government should take immediate action by enforcing a cease-fire while simultaneously expediting the construction of the temporary pier. I hope this can be completed in a shorter time frame. Subsequently, the international community should be called upon to rush supplies to Gaza to alleviate the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is not being contained solely between the two sides. Instead, it has the potential to escalate out of control. Yemen's Houthis are attacking ships bound for or departing from Israel. Moreover, the US and the UK are bombing sites inside Yemen. Other countries, including Iraq, Syria and Iran, are facing increasing crises and strategic bombings by Israeli or Western forces. 

Therefore, this is a critical moment for the US to stand up and do the right thing, rather than being accused by future generations of failing to live up to their responsibilities. However, the US does not appear to demonstrate any genuine commitment or willingness to end this conflict. I don't think they really care that much about the civilian deaths in Gaza. They are not dedicating enough resources or attention to do the right thing.

The Gaza crisis seems to be rapidly becoming a pawn in the US' presidential election. Just look at how Donald Trump and Joe Biden talk about the crisis in Gaza and how to deal with the Israeli government or its defense forces. They probably do not want to solve the problem and the crisis immediately. They would prefer to gain more votes by playing electoral tactics, any way they can.

In the US general election up to early November, even though the Gaza crisis itself is one of the most significant and horrific human tragedies in history, attention will likely be focused more on domestic issues rather than international ones. However, the Gaza crisis will undoubtedly influence the election in several ways.

First, many Muslim Americans are expected to mobilize their efforts to urge people not to vote for Biden. They perceive Biden as having let down the US by failing to stand firm in defending peace and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, as much as the US defends the legitimate rights of the Israeli people.

Second, they are frustrated by the complete failure of the US in helping end the tragedies in Gaza. They are dismayed by the fact that the US has repeatedly blocked resolutions in the United Nations Security Council calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. As a result, they will likely be mobilized. Political activists will attempt to hold Biden accountable for the US' failure to promote a cease-fire in the Israel-Palestine conflict, a failure that has been demonstrated to the entire world.

However, while the American people may be paying attention to the Ukraine crisis and the Gaza conflict, their main focus is on domestic issues, particularly the outcome of the presidential election. Unfortunately, news about civilian deaths, atrocities and indiscriminate killings may be overshadowed by headlines about domestic affairs. This will be a tragic chapter for both the Palestinian people and Israel, as it undermines the prospects for lasting peace in the region.

This is a critical moment for the US to do the right thing and prevent a real crisis of lasting instability, hatred and confrontation between the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. The US should treat the Palestinian people the same as they treat the Israeli people. If anyone attempts to prioritize the political rights of the Israeli people at the expense of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, they will ultimately fail to serve the fundamental interests of the Israelis, as this is not how lasting peace for Israel can be achieved.

The author is a chair professor at Soochow University and Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn